One man has been arrested as part of an investigation into fake energy labels, which are supposed to indicate how energy-efficient a property is, government inspectors said on Wednesday.
The man is suspected of selling hundreds of false labels to residential and commercial property owners, and of laundering the proceeds.
The investigation concentrated on eastern Brabant and involved the search of one home and two commercial premises, the infrastructure ministry inspectors said. Spanish police also searched another property owned by the man.
Since 2008 all property has been required to have an energy label before it can be sold. The label indicates how well the property is insulated and increasingly has an impact on the sales price.
The authorities were alerted by several property owners who discovered their labels were not included in the official register. The inspectors are now urging homeowners to check the register and report any problems with their own labels.
Since January 1, 2021, energy labels can only be awarded following an inspection. They are also included in a national database.
Real estate agents association NVM said last November that well-insulated, low energy homes are commanding higher prices than identical properties without a high energy label.
In addition, energy efficient homes sell more quickly than those without much in the way of insulation and buyers are more likely to bid over the asking price, the NVM said.
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